Essence Magazine put on a beautiful display of black excellence, black pride, and black unity at its inaugural Best in Black Fashion Awards.
The event kicked off New York Fashion Week, celebrating 2019’s most impact-full creatives in the style and fashion space and honoring fashion trailblazer Pat Cleveland with Essence ICON Award .
“It was important for us to highlight black creatives in fashion, not just within the United States, but globally. We really curated a crew of young talents that we felt were the best and brights for the year.” – Marielle Bobo, Essence Fashion Director
Stars, honorees, and guest gathered for the dinner and festivities at Hells Kitchen gallery and event space Affirmation Arts. As we were there to celebrate fashion and style it was only right for attendees to show up and show out. Many wore black designers and black owned brands, including Anthony Hamilton, Jidenna, Bozoma Saint John, Damaris Lewis, Marielle Bobo, and Essence Global Beauty Director, Julee Wilson.
Bevy Smith hosted and keep the crowd laughing all night. She had Jidenna blushing and lost for words with her playful yet sensual introduction. After gaining his composure, he hit the stage and brought guest to their feet as he preformed “Sufi Woman“, hit single off his latest studio record, “85 to Africa“.
The energy in the room was electrifying and everyone could feel it. There were no egos. There was no negativity or pretentiousness. The room was full of pure genuine love and an overwhelming sense of togetherness.
Within recent years the conversation about visibility, inclusion, & diversity in the fashion industry has grown immensely. Yet and still many top fashion brands, companies, organizations, and publications treat these issues like a trendy buzz word and their latest hot topic, without actually taking any corrective actions. Essence Best in Black Fashion Awards and Essence Fashion House is answering the call to action in creating the change we need in the in the industry.
“We’ve always been in fashion & we’ve always been fashionably. Now we are finally being recognized and we are finally getting platforms, most importantly we’re receiving theses platforms in our own homes. For Essence to hold an Essence’s Fashion House and Awards during New York Fashion Week means so much. There are so many people here that would maybe take them 3, 4, 5, or 10 years to be noticed by the Vogue Fashion Fund. Now their being recognized by Essence Fashion House. They are truly self-made and self-starters and I’m happy to be here celebrating them.” –Bevy Smith